mardi 17 février 2009

dimanche 15 février 2009

Manuel Göttsching - Live at Mt Fuji (2006)

Well, this is just a fantastic live album by Manuel Göttsching, pionneer of the German electronic music of the seventies, with his band Ash Ra (Tempel) , and forerunner of the the most innovative part of the techno scene, with his concept album E2/E4

Live at Mt Fuji is a very contemporary album, mixing repetitive rythms "à la Steve Reich" with electronic soundscapes and inspired electric guitar. Psychedelic dance music, contemporary chill out, ambient experimentations: the sound, the feeling, the aesthetic, the modernity of this music and of this concert are just unbelievable. Manuel Göttsching succeeds in creating a unique crossroads of so many paths that made the history of new musics since the 70's of the last century.

Beautiful sound, inspired music, post-modern rythmics... Is it the first Zen album of the XXIst century ?

link : mp3
password: olduvai

Joachin Joe Claussell meets Manuel Göttsching (2006)

In the so-called "Electronic School of Berlin", Ash Ra Tempel was as important and as influential as Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze.  It started as a psychedelic & experimental rock band (Klaus Schulze played the drums) and then explored the trends of "kosmische musik", with different line up. Manuel Göttsching was (and still is) the main creator of the Ash Ra Tempel sound: a beautiful mix of keyboards layers (organ, string ensemble), repetitive an subtle rythmic loops and a solar guitar sound, played to create strange repetitive patterns or to draw magnificent solos...

With Manuel Göttsching, German electronic music meets Californian sun and coolness, cosmic journey are rythmed by a unique swing, and the music of the seventies meets the techno scene of the XXIst century... Göttsching was a precursor, and explored new spaces of repetitive music, for example in his famous E2 / E4 album, as influential as  Music for 18 musicians by Steve Reich was for contemporary music...

In the three tracks of this album, the basic materials were provided by Manuel Göttsching solo or Ash Ra concerts (1976 and 1979). Joachin Joe Claussell added new loops and beats on two tracks ("Deep(e) Distance" and "Ain't No Time for Tears". This is not really a remix, it is more like an enhanced version of the original live recordings. It is a perfect introduction to the musical world and skill of Manuel Göttsching...

link: mp3
password: olduvai

Tangerine Dream - Live in Paris (March 31, 1986)

On March 31, 1986, Tangerine Dream played two concerts at the Olympia (and not "Olympic") Theater in Paris. Their last concert in Paris was in 1981. These two 1986 concerts were a surprise for Parisian TD fans. First, they discovered a new line-up of the band: Johannes Schmoelling was replaced by a young Austrian musician, Paul Haslinger. Then, Tangerine Dream had a new sound, more digital, more percussive, with impressive multilayered sequences, precise harmonic and melodic arrangement: the music was played very loud and the audience discovered a kind of new electronic music, sophisticated and full of the same kind of energy a rock band could display. Last, but not least, the band played with an impressive light show, perfectly synchronized with the music.

23 years after, these Paris concerts remain very special... They opened the way to a new step in Tangerine Dream career, but the trio Franke - Froese - Haslinger was the most creative link between the early eighties and the nineties.

Christopher Franke's art of sequencing was at its peak... Computers, samplers and digital synthies replaced the old analogic Moog sequencers: they added a new percussive dimension, new rythmic possibilities.  As far as I know, few musicians went as far as the programming work of Franke on some parts of this concert...

Here is the Tangerine Tree archive of one of these concerts. It is number 69 of the series...

I hope you will enjoy...

link: mp3
password: olduvai

dimanche 8 février 2009

Brian Eno - Music for Prague (2001)

This music was conceived for a 1998 installation of Brian Eno, collaborting with Jiri Prihoda in Prague. The CD was donated to an auction in aid of South London Arts in January 2001 and raised £ 400. 

As Thursday Afternoon, Music for Prague is a long ambient track, where piano notes and melodic lines evolve very slowly. It is another perfect realization of Eno's concept of generative music, where different tracks are blended together in a randomly way, and one should listen to the installation at least 10.000 years to hear the entire possibilities of a single piece. 

Quiet music for our hectic times, Music for Prague is the perfect soundtrack for a winter evening... To be played and listened to in infinite repeat mode !

link: mp3
password: olduvai

Stephan Micus - Desert Poems (2001)

In the scene of world music, Stephan Micus (b. 1953)  is a world by himself. Most of his works were released on ECM: he recorded 20 albums so far, pure gems of ethno-ambient music, where he plays many musical instruments he gathered during his travels around the globe. Sarangi meets dilruba, shakuhachi meets flower pots, human voice meets nay, kalimba or doussn' gouni...  Stephan Micus could be the Mike Oldfield of world music, and multitrack recording equipement allows him to create strange symphonies blending musical cultures, beautiful polyphonies with his own voice or a single instrument.

Each album of Stephan Micus is like a travel, were beautiful landscapes are painted with the sounds and the unexpected hybridation of musical traditions: from India to Africa, from Bali to Japan, we are travelling with him along an imaginary and a spiritual Silk Road... Micus' compositions are fully contemporary and personal, they are ambient and contemplative, they create an intimate and beautiful mood where the musician and his listeners get closer through a same meditation.... 

link: mp3 / 320
password: olduvai

Light and Colours

Abstraction 1 (2007)

"All forms of beauty, like all possible phenomena, 
contain an element of the eternal 
and an element of the transitory, 
of the absolute and of the particular. 
Absolute and eternal beauty does not exist, 
or rather it is only an abstraction 
creamed from the general surface of different beauties"

Charles Baudelaire

samedi 31 janvier 2009

Tangerine Dream - Live in Brussels (9 February 1976)

On 9th February 1976, Tangerine Dream was playing at the Auditorium Paul-Emile Janson in Brussels (Belgium). It was a fantastic show, one of the best live performances of the trio Baumann, Franke and Froese in this period. Fortunately, someone in the audience recorded the show. This 1st generation tape was re-mastered by 3N and a splendid artwork was created by Giuseppe Milazzo. This concert is volume 27 of the Tangerine Tree Project, gathering almost all the live performances of the band.  It should be noticed that Tangerine Dream gave its agreement to this project, as far as it was a non-profit venture, produced by fans to fans.  The music is "a perfect mix of sequencers, mellotrons, guitar". One should add that it was one of the most creative period of Tangerine Dream and that their live performances were unique events where improvisation played a very important part.  This Brussels concert was exceptional by the interplay between the three musicians: some parts remind Ricochet or Encore, two official live recordings.

The sound quality is very good, and the silence of the audience is just impressive... Tangerine Dream concerts had such an hypnotical power...

I hope you will enjoy, and I will post in the future a selection of Tangerine Dream shows, my personal "best of" for the musical as well as for the audio quality...

link: mp3  :  2 parts
password: olduvai

vendredi 30 janvier 2009

Harold Budd - By the Dawn's Early Light (1991)

This is a splendid album, perhaps the most personal album of Harold Budd. Mixing together the reading of some of his beautiful poems and ambient musical soundscapes, Budd creates unique atmospheres, between day and night, between light and darkness, between sleep and awakening. Playing piano, Hammond B3 and synthesizer, Harold Budd is surrounded by B.J. Cole (pedal steel guitar), Bill Nelson (acoustic and electric guitars), Mabel Wong (viola) and Susan Allen (harp).

The result is magical and moving, deep and ambient, and a subtle and aerial chamber music surrounds Harold Budd's texts: his voice, the rythm and pauses of his reading are parts of the music.

Imagination meets memory, silence found its voice, words and sounds are just colours painting a beautiful, quiet, serene and ambient atmosphere...

link: mp3 / 320
password: olduvai

Bernard Parmegiani - La Création du Monde (1986)

Bernard Parmegiani is a French composer (born in 1927) who belonged to the Groupe de Recherche Musicale (GRM) founded in Paris by Pierre Schaeffer. Among many compositions, La Création du Monde is probably the best introduction to his musical universe and to his unique way to blend together sounds from different origins, concrete, acoustic, electronic. Parmegiani creates unique soundscapes suggesting ephemeral events, various material surfaces and shapes, the motions of air, the transparancy or non transparancy of space, the plays and illusions of sonic mirrors surrounding the listener.

La Création du Monde reminds me early Tangerine Dream albums such as Zeit or Atem: this music is abstract but generates so many inner visions, it plays with sounds and spaces in a very visual way, it is ambient and quiet while exploring all the dimensions of the "objets sonores" that are the trademark of Pierre Schaeffer and his followers at the the GRM. 

This music should be listened to late at night, at a low level: you will be surrounded by unknown flying sonic objects and through your closed eyes, you will see the creation of the universe...

link: mp3 / 320
password: olduvai


... for the nice comments !
I am happy some cyber butterflies enjoy the musical flowers of my garden...!


dimanche 18 janvier 2009

Meredith Monk (with Robert Een) - Facing North (1992)

Is it a song or a cry ? A voice or a breathe ? Is it vocal music or organic noises ?
It could be a song byn a seagull or the cry of some unknown animal...
It could be a shaman's incantation or the language we speak in our dreams..
It is Meredith Monk's vocal music...
Human voice explores unknown territories and plays with their border zones...
Could human voice invent new languages, universal languages, going far the borders of signication in order to share a common exploration of non verbal communication ? 

Facing North is a great album, featuring Meredith Monk (voice, piano, organ, pitch pipe) and Robert  Een (voice,  pitch pipe).

This music is closely linked with theatrical performance... Gestures, play with space, silence, body art are obviously parts of such a performance.

I love this record, because it is so emblematic (among many other records) of what ECM is about: exploring the borders of silence...

link: mp3 / 320
password: olduvai

Stuart Dempster - Underground Overlays from the Cistern Chapel (1985)

Art would be so boring if there was not a part of crazyness in it. The recording industry would be just a routine if there were only studio sessions, without risks and imagination... Life becomes more interesting when one is going to the very end of his (her ?) dreams, concepts, abilities..

Most of New Albion records, this innovative company based in San Francisco, shared such features. They are extreme, exciting, experimental, innovative, and never, never they take into account commercial, economic, market data, to frame creativity within borders and limits.

Stuart Dempster is a veteran composer and performer in the American new music scene.

This Cistern Chapel project  is crazy, incredible, bold, on the edge... 

Stuart Dempster and his trombone class went inside a giant water tank close to Seattle. In this place, there is a natural reverberation of 45 seconds...  Conches,  Dijderidu, Tibetan cymbals and nine trombones create these unique soundscapes, atmospheric drones, ambient climates, multi-dimensional acoustic spaces...

Meditation ? Exploring the borders of consciousness ? Mapping new audio territories ?

These Underground Overlays do not allow simple definitions. They are an invitation to share a unique acoustic and ambient experience.

If you think that true musical creation should open new spaces and break all the existing borders, then you should definitely explore the superb ambient world of Stuart Dempster and his students...

Enjoy ! 

link: mp3 / 320
password: olduvai

samedi 10 janvier 2009

Tangerine Dream - Live in Shefield (1974)

This is the second volume of the Tangerine Tree series. Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and Peter Baumann played at the City Hall in Sheffield, on October 29th, 1974.  This is a pretty good recording (soundboard ? radio broadcast ?), remastered by Jabberwock. The design is by Maff & Gustavo Jobim

In this 44 minutes long track, Tangerine Dream's music is serene, floating and meditative: it is a long improvisation, where mellotron, organs, EMS Synthy and treated piano create beautiful soundscapes: it is true electronic chamber music, creating slowly evolving climates, with a kind of special German romantic touch... 

Enjoy !
password: olduvai

lundi 5 janvier 2009

Winter dreams...

Winter dreams (2006)

"There is no way to peace, peace is the way"
A.J. Muste

Ketil Bjørnstad - Floating (2005)

This is not a ECM release, but it looks and sounds  like... Palle Danielsson (double-bass) and Marilyn Mazur (drums, percussions) add a subtle rythmic and sonic touch to Ketil Bjornstad lyrical and inspired piano playing, and the three of them built up beautiful climates, where melody, swing and atmosphere are mixed in a very creative way... Is it jazz ? ambient music ? chamber music ? As often, with ECM artists (and the three of them are ECM artists), labels and definitions are useless and disappointing...

Let say it is a kind of ambient chamber music whose strong identity and originality results from the unique way Ketil Bjornstad plays piano (delicate, introspective, melodic and melancholic)  and from the way the two other musicians listen to him...

Floating is a perfect title for this album: it is floating music, a quiet melodic soundscape that will surround you at the heart of the night...

link / mp3
password: olduvai

Brannan Lane - Hypnotic Drift (2002)

Brannan Lane is a very creative composer in the US ambient scene: his discography is impressive (26 ambient albums recorded so far...), as a solo artist or in collaboration projects (for example with Vidna Obmana, Zero Ohms, Amir Baghiri, Robert Carty, Tom Larson, Ashera....). 

As an introduction to his discography, I chose a very meditative and ambient album, Hypnotic Drift. You are invited to explore eleven "zones" in a 63 minutes sonic journey, with deep and space out atmospheres, slowly evolving electronic polyphonies, beautiful sounds and climates that could be compared to Steve Roach's most floating works (without ethnic drums).

Very remote from the new age musak, the music of Brannan Lane follows its own path and it built up its own style and beauty...

This is a quiet, deep and spacy music to be listened to after midnight or when you need just to chill out or to slow down from our hectic and crazy world.

Most of Brannan Lane's recordings can be bought online at Itunes and emusic, and they are highly recommanded !

link: mp3 :
password: olduvai